tv [untitled] April 20, 2011 3:00pm-3:30pm PDT
million is their assumption for minimum staffing provided for in the ordinance set forth by proposition f. that is why 5.2 represents 10% for our department. the next slide talks about that 10% contingency reduction. we met our 5.2% which represents 10% as it relates to the contingency. we had a long discussion with the fire commission and we talked to many of you and when we did our submission on february 22nd, we did not include a contingency. we are continuing to work with the mayor's office in identifying additional sources for savings. without a doubt, anything above and beyond the initial 10% would result in adverse operational
and packs. we were creative enough to be able to get the first & pride ourselves in not being able to have to cut into the operations with too much difficulty. every year -- this is that eight year have been part of the fire department budget in preparing and being responsible for it, we have been responsive to the request for reducing the budget. the contingency will be tough and i know you have tough decisions to make. we have done some preliminary analysis. if we were asked for a 10% contingency, it would mean closures of engine companies at this point. that is what we would be providing as part of the solution. at the conclusion of the presentation, i can talk a little bit further about what that might look like. in addition, there were concessions made year in and year out of the men and women of
local 798. this year alone, there were approximately $11.2 million in concessions made. 11-12 assumes $6.9 million. there are some -- there is some language contained in the mou that if there were engine closers and items related to the charges like work week, those savings would no longer be in effect. i'm happy to answer any questions about that. supervisor chiu: what is the overall budget of your department? >> is at $306 million. $280 million is general funds. >supervisor chiu: the 10% we are looking for -- we are looking
for those savings to treat your department as we would others. i understand you've said your commission has not provided the solutions as we think about what we might need to do to hit the target, right? >> for contingency? correct. the discussion is very open. we are looking for direction from the mayor's budget office. any ideas or direction you have -- we met the first 10% without having to have adverse operational impact. if we go further than that, we will. we need to have that discussion and we can. i am prepared to do it today if you want. supervisor chiu: i wonder if there's a different way to go. we heard from the police department there receiving pay raises this year. if the police officers
association did not provide as pay raises, those could likely help us avoid the layoffs that department is looking at. right now, the salaries within your department are 20% more than their counterparts in other parts of the bay area. if you attack on overtime and special pay, according to our human-resources director, you are talking about almost a one- third increase compared to counterparts around the bay area, right? how should we think about that? >> i know we had that discussion last week. supervisor chiu: how should we think about that? a fidelity at the police department and asking people to think about not taking their pay raises this year, and as much as we all support our firefighters and want to make sure those services are continuing, our department sees it salaries and benefits one-third higher than
the others around the bay? >> just some context -- similar response as i gave you last week in terms of my role was the chief at the department. we want to make sure we have a well-trained and competent workforce, which we do. we have dedicated and hard- working members. my hands are somewhat tied in terms of the negotiation process. negotiations are done through the bargaining unit in the department of human resources. i would perceive myself as a very interested third party, but not one that has a voice that can set table -- that can sit at tables. contracts have gone into effect and the negotiations are done at table and reviewed by the mayor's office. they're not only reviewed by the executive branch but the legislative branch. the contracts come before this body and have been approved.
they were approved, candidly, perhaps during better economic times. it is very true that there was a race to in july worth approximately $9 million. a 4% race, part of it deferred from last year. -- 4% raise, part of it deferred from last year. supervisor chiu: put a different way, if your department and not take that raise, we would not have to lay off any positions. >> unlike the police department, we are not in a situation where we would have to lay off employees. this was raised last week at the committee government audits and oversight. we have higher over time expenditure because we have come up with a formula and it has proven with the help of the mayor's office that staffing and higher overtime rate is more
fiscally efficient. in terms of the bottom line, we have many fewer employees than we did five years ago. what that means is that if we were to cut back on -- if we had to make cutbacks for us, we would not be making layoffs. but we have minimum staffing as well. there are many layers of complexity. >> i think we still have four times as many firefighters per- capita as other jurisdictions around the state, right? >> i cannot concur -- i cannot confirm that. that sounds high to me. we have a far different challenges than most cities west of the mississippi in terms of the fire problem in the challenge related to wind. you just ask supervisor campos
who joined me a couple of weeks ago -- a wind-driven fire with wood frame construction -- every fire station we had in every firefighter we had was worth every penny. it is a matter of -- it is a matter of managing risks. there are many challenges associated with fighting fires in san francisco then save phoenix or los angeles county. >> i appreciate that. the challenge is we are expecting 20% general fund cuts in all of these apartments. what i'm hearing from you is we have figured out solutions to get about 10%, which is not actually 10% of your entire department. italy a handful of a percentage of the entire department and we're trying to figure out how to close the gap. one thing i am looking at is a
your firefighters make one-third more than their counterparts north, south, and to the east of us, and yet that -- you see where i am going. >> i absolutely understand your point. supervisor wiener: what would it look like if you have to do the other 10%, if there is no give back? what operationally would it look like? >> when i first became fire chief in 2004, it was not as difficult as now, but we were having budget issues and constraints. one of the things i piloted was temporary deactivation or brownouts of engine companies.
not a popular decision. not something i was proud of doing, but i was given an edict to make it work with less money. we pilot did this and what came was a proposition to call for mandatory staffing levels. that passed overwhelmingly by the voters who did not like the fact engine companies were being closed on a temporary basis. nobody wanted in their district. one of the things we would propose if we had no other choice is to look at going back to that. that would be in the form of engine company closures. we would try to minimize the impact so of we were to do it, we would do it based on analysis and response time into the district from the second
company. we put a lot of thought into it. we would not want to shatter one particular property, so we would look at a station that has more than one unit out of that particular area. when we did in 2004, we did it on a rotational basis and approved to be difficult to manage and work for us in terms of our numbers. we were mandated by two different entities to meet at the 90th percentile. we were mandated by the emergency medical services survey. we were prepared through our analysis to close engine companies, but i must remind everyone that concessions have been made by the bargaining unit and the concessions are built upon the fact that its engine companies are closed, those concessions become
vulnerable and go away. supervisor wiener: so if we did some sort of brownout, what would the penalty be in terms of those prior concessions that were coming back? >> in the current year, around 11.2 in concessions were made. it has -- it was taken by half years so that 6.9 would be vulnerable if we're to brownout and make that decision. depending on when the brownout would occur, half of that. it is all spelled out in the mou. one engine brownout per year is worth approximately $2.5 million. if we did four of them, that would be approximately $10
million. so you have some savings but you would be giving up 6.9 million in concessions. >> how many engine companies would we have to brownout? >> two. supervisor wiener: taking into account the penalties? >> it would be at least four, possibly six. the agreement for the concession was built on the fact it is safer to have occurred about of staffing that we have. i can work a math out for you but it would be a minimum of 4 and up to six. the analysis we looked at -- it is difficult and painful and not something i suggest we do, but i know you have many competing interests before you. our analysis, similar to last
year, there is a slight change, but station no. 2 is in one of the most densely populated areas of the city. based on response times, because there is good coverage and stations within close proximity, that would be one of the first engine companies we would look at deactivating. followed by station 5 on turk and webster. station no. 14 on 27 ave. station 7 is in the mission district. this would be one apparatus out of those stations and it would be a reduced response to the city. all of them are not great solutions. but it is something we have to look at the going to be held to making additional reductions. in my 21 years in the departments, we have never been staffed more legally that we are now. -- more leanly than we are now.
it's a large budget, but if 91% is spoken for in terms of salary and benefit, and only 9%, the only real way to get contingency money is on the outside. supervisor wiener: if we were to have these brownouts, i guess these pay for the firefighters working reduced hours or does it? >> based on how we staff, which is with approximately 11% on overtime, we do not believe -- there would be less opportunity for overtime but it would not reduce their hours. it would not reduce regularly scheduled hours. supervisor wiener: but the take- home pay would be less because there are the less overtime? >> yes. but the base pay would remain the same. supervisor chu: i might have
stepped out when you mentioned the brownouts, but there would be an impact to the mou givebacks, right? >> yes. if -- the entire amount for a 11-12 would be forfeited. a one-year brownout is worth approximately $2.5 million. if there is a violation between july 1st, 2011 and december 3rd, it would be half that. no impact after december 24th, 2011. supervisor kim: when we talk about the deactivation of an engine, are we talking about one truck or are we talking about an entire fire station? >> we have two different types
of apparatus -- the engine is a smaller one which carries water and poses that was one officer and three firefighters. the stations i highlighted as a potential brownout engine co. are quarter with another apparatus, typically a truck company, the larger of the to apparatus with the forcible entry tools and hydraulic letters. supervisor kim: i only ask because the line item under the first 10% target reductions for engine 35 -- we were talking about that apparatus but when we talk about brownouts, the saving is roughly $2.5 million for station no. 2? >> it would be the same savings as engine 35 because would be the same apparatus. the station would remain open, but some of it is for where and
care and maintenance of the vehicle. but the ball is from the officer and three firefighters that staff at 24/7. the station would remain open. >>supervisor kim: there not be y layoffs but there would be an opportunity for -- a reduction in the opportunity for overtime. >> correct. supervisor kim: i have asked this question to the mayor's office yesterday, but i was hoping you could talk a little bit about this -- a couple of days ago, i saw, i believe the person was inebriated. there is a person on the ground on market and says. a little to my chagrin, there were not only for police officers but a fire truck and an ambulance there. i'm just wondering why we have
that kind of response to deal with one individual if you can go through the mechanics of that. for a layperson like me, it seems that an extreme dedication of resources for one individual. >> it just to run through that -- when someone calls 911, we try to get the chief complaint or mechanism. it may not be the person in need of medical attention. typically, we will dispatch an engine company which has a basic support trained person. many companies also have a paramedic on board. our philosophy is when we respond to the call, we want to make sure we have the appropriate amount of resources. we would rather pilaf resources that have to apply resources in critical, lifesaving situations. you may say an inebriated person
is not a critical response, however, there is always situations where we get called to a scene and there could be additional mechanisms. instead of being inebriated, they could have fallen struck their heads and are in need of immediate intervention. we would dispatch an engine company to get basic life- support rolling and on board, followed by the transport unit that comes to assist and takeover of the care. supervisor kim: why is the track necessary? i hear this a lot from constituents. they see fire trucks come off and for non-incidents in the tenderloin. as we look at cuts for meals for seniors and a drop in support for homeless folks, why do we have all these firetrucks coming to address the one inebriated person on the ground?
why not just send an ambulance? >> that has come up before. many times it's more than just an inebriated person. we don't want to take the risk. we have someone in need of medical attention, many times to people are not enough. if there are additional complications, to people to assess, treats and triage the person, it is more than a to- person job. some misstating miles signs, someone positioning them on a gurney, someone getting a metaphor transport. more often than not, it is a more than a two-person job. if it is something more serious, related to shortness of breath or a full blown cardiac arrest, we need at least between four
and six people. >> is it not possible to that more people in an ambulance? >> to respond in an ambulance, that is not a model i would support or see nationwide. i know a few years back, we had someone from the committee suggest we operate on mopeds. i have seen it in europe and i think it would be very risky in our situation. but a threat that country -- we look at best practices to see what our counterparts are doing in similar-sized jurisdictions. in some cases, we will put a third person on the ambulance, but not as a practice. many times, firefighter will drive the ambulance because you need both medics in the back, but not to start the call. >> -- supervisor kim: in the stations you just mentioned, you
recommend that those because they operate in areas where response time would not be significantly affected? >> yes. if i could put something up -- and not sure if this is going to work. if i could get the overhead projector. this is a schematic of our city and the different facilities we have and the highlights are the jurisdictions are referred to. you see station no. 2, a very busy station in a densely populated area. it's in the middle of a triangle between 28, 41 and 13. we look at call volume and then look at the closest engine possibility coming in as a second unit and still be able to meet the response time because that's important to us. similarly, station no. 5 is a busy station. it is surrounded by a number of neighborhood stations. when we look at the call
volume, the response time fell within the range we wanted to. station no. 14 -- we don't have as many around them, the call volume is less. we looked at the call volume and we look at some of the responding entities. station 51 is a new station we just took on in october. we entered a 10-year agreement with the golden gate recreational area. we have that asset to comer -- to cover some of that area. in the heart of the mission -- a very busy station. but our analysis shows some engine companies would be able to take on some of that load. nevertheless, and the asset you take away is an increase in the risk. it's not something i am advocating for, but if you are looking for additional solutions, recommendations, things to consider, these are what we have come up with. supervisor kim: station no. 51
is completely funded? >> we get full funding for that. supervisor kim: station 7 is in the district represent. i don't think any of us want to see brownouts, but we have such heavy and tremendous decisions to make concerning what on balance we have to reduce services in. i would say i'm open to the concept, even if it is a closure in the district represent. supervisor chu: thank you. >> shall i continue? this highlights what i touched on earlier in terms of minimum staffing. the department's minimum staffing requirements total 300 numbers. that is for 24/7 and does not
include the ambulance tear. it also does not include the staffing at engine 35, which we propose the continue deactivation with the $2.5 million savings. we also have our dynamic ambulance fleet. there were a lot of questions about the ems system and how it works. we have seen a reduction in our 911 transport. since 2008, with seen our share of transport reduced from 96% to approximately 76%. as a result, we have received reduce revenues on that. although it has not been as dramatic as we anticipated, because to offset that, we've seen an offset in overall call volume.
in 2008, the state may ruling that open up the 911 ambulance system to private providers. as a result, they have taken over a larger share of the patient transport. this has had a negative impact on our revenue is as a result of the decrease in run volume and increase to private. one thing we are following very closely, if you are following up with the assembly and the senate, we have watched very closely assembly bill 678 which is making its way through the legislature and is expected to pass without too much opposition. allows for the department to seek additional reimbursements on transport and the details are not spelled out yet but it is for government providers not private providers. we think this could increase our revenue stream by approximately $300 per transport. that is a good thing. in addition, we're actively
working with the department of emergency management to persuade the emergency medical services agency at the state level to go back to the way the city provided ambulance transport care. the city and county, has since 1895, we believe the scope and manner we offer the service has not changed. it is a bit of conflict from the original ruling came down in 2008. we are working closely to propose we go back to the way we provided the service and are hopeful and have assumed our budget next year additional revenue based on that. we are cautiously optimistic that will come down in our favor. supervisor chu: it looks like in the budget reduction, there's an
assumption of $1.2 million. that is talking about that exclusive right? >> that is my understanding. supervisor chu: i heard numbers that were significantly higher than 1.2. can you explain the numbers i have heard -- there were like $20 million. that is significantly different from 1.2. i'm wondering if you could go into more detail. >> with regard to our total ambulance revenue on an annual basis, it is around $21 million. that covers the entirety of our transports. an additional $20 million would be quite welcome but it is not realistic with regard to the change in the ordinance code.